T Nation

Hammer Strength vs. BB?

I have never had a strong chest. I always start my chest routine on incline usually doing dumbell or barbell presses.

The most I’ve ever put up is 175 pounds for 5 reps on an incline barbell press. The other day… I went into the gym and decided to do the HS incline… I decided to find a 5 rep max.

I put a plate on each side, did 5 reps… easy. Then I went up to 2 plates… 5 reps seemed ok. I put on 3 plates… 5 pretty hard reps, but I felt like I coulda done more. So I go up to 4 plates each side and I went all out and I put up 5 reps… very hard.

What I’m trying to get at is… I know hammer strength is easier than barbells but I would assume 4 plates each side on a HS is a LOT heavier than 175 lbs on barbell (a weight I never did more than 5 reps with).

Does this mean I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough?

[quote]tfhut987 wrote:
I have never had a strong chest. I always start my chest routine on incline usually doing dumbell or barbell presses.

The most I’ve ever put up is 175 pounds for 5 reps on an incline barbell press. The other day… I went into the gym and decided to do the HS incline… I decided to find a 5 rep max.

I put a plate on each side, did 5 reps… easy. Then I went up to 2 plates… 5 reps seemed ok. I put on 3 plates… 5 pretty hard reps, but I felt like I coulda done more. So I go up to 4 plates each side and I went all out and I put up 5 reps… very hard.

What I’m trying to get at is… I know hammer strength is easier than barbells but I would assume 4 plates each side on a HS is a LOT heavier than 175 lbs on barbell (a weight I never did more than 5 reps with).

Does this mean I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough?[/quote]

I probably speak for more than myself when I say let’s see a video. And yes, 180lbs each side is " a LOT heavier" than 175lbs total. If it’s easier than your incline that would mean the counter-weights would be AT LEAST 90lbs a side. Hammer Strength is not counter-weighted that much.

Please provide a video of your incline and then your Hammer Strength feat.

Cueball

On incline HS I can’t do much more… I think I use about 110# dumbbells for incline (I don’t do BB inline), and I can only put on 2 plates and a 25 on each side of the HS. The total weight difference then is only 10#.

Decline HS is another story, for me at least. I can only decline bench about 370, but with HS, I can pretty easily do 5 plates per side.

I find whenever using one of the Hammer machines, it puts the most force on the muscle when the muscle is in the fully contracted position. Usually at the end of the movement. When pressing with a regular bar of dumbbell, the full weight is there from the start. That may seem why the bar feels heavy to you.
Please remember that when you are in the fully contracted position, that is where most of the muscle fibers come into play.

In my opinion Hammer Strength Wide Press is to bench press what leg press is to squats. With a Hammer strength Machine you don’t have the weight of a barbell. You have about 7 pounds if your pushing the machine with no plates. And then your not really pushing just the weight. You’re using a lever to move the weight. So you’re really doing a fraction of the weight you have on.

But on the other hand the motion of hammer strength is more akin to that of DB bench than flat bench.

On the hammer strength dip machine I can do reps with 330 pounds. I do weigh 230 but I don’t think I can strap 100 lbs and do 15 reps. Also the hammer strength chest machine is around the same, I can do at least 150% more then 1rm for reps.